Green Witch Diaries: Catnip

    by Quinn K Dyer

    Know it:

    A member of the mint family, infamous for its use for blessings and bonding spells involving your feline friends.

    Catnip’s bonding properties aren’t limited to cats however. This herb is key to spells to attract love; particularly for women.

    But catnip has many other uses.

    It naturally repels some species of fleas, ticks, and mosquitos.

    Medicanally, it can calm upset stomachs or soothe congestion. And as a sedative, its mild enough for children.

    Magically, it is also used for beauty, happiness, healing, and courage; though all of these properties lend themselves to multifaceted necessities of love.

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    Grow it:

    Catnip is an easy-to-grow essential for any witch’s garden.

    It’s relatively low maintenance useful in many spells. Catnip plants enjoy the sun and are drought tolerant, but be careful planting outside, as local cats will seek them out.

    Plants are easily destroyed by a couple eager kitties.

    They will literally love the poor plant to death. Protect with chicken wire, screens, or by elevating; I have a couple in hanging baskets. And catnip is easy to grow in pots.

    Catnip is easily grown from cuttings taken from an established plant.

    Strip all but the top four leaves on a single steam and place the stem in a container of water, making sure the leaves stay dry.

    Leave the container in a sunny spot and in a week or so you should see the new roots beginning to grow.

    In another week or so, these roots will be a couple inches long and ready for planting!

    Catnip will also self-seed as well as spread underground by runners, like other members of the mint family.

    This can cause it to be invasive, so plant with care.

    Pinching off blooms can help control it from spreading. Always leave a few flowers, so that your plants return in the spring!

    Blooms attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

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    Use it:

    Catnip is easily dried in the oven at a low setting (170 F) for about an hour.

    The leaves can be milled down or stored whole in an airtight container.

    These dried leaves make a great treat for your feline companions or to burn as an incense.

    When drying catnip, I like to strip the leaves and let my kitty have a field day with the stems; although the stems can be dried as well.

    Soothing catnip tea is great for headaches, as a decongestant, or to help break a fever, settle an upset stomach, and fight insomnia.

    Brewed as a tea or smoked, catnip can create a mild euphoric feeling. This is nothing like the psychoactive effect in cats however.

    Cats find this herb utterly intoxicating and these properties can be harnessed in spellwork.

    Catnip is a great addition to any love spell, especially during a Libra moon.

    Rose petals and catnip can be used in a bath for a love or beauty spell.

    While soaking in a bath of chamomile and catnip banishes stress.

    In fact, these calming properties are so strong that they can help induce a trance state; use with mugwort and lavender in a pre ritual bath to induce visions and cosmic “remembering”.

    Divination and dreamwork are super-charged during the new and full moons; especially in a water sign like Pisces.

    Catnip responds well in water signs.

    As a woman’s herb, catnip can stimulate the womb and cause a miscarriage or provoke menstruation, so pregnant women best avoid ingestion.

    Also be warned that catnip essential oils are concentrated enough to be toxic and never use them around your cat!



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    About the Author:

    Quinn K. Dyer is a native of Philadelphia, born under Gemini, a witch and a wanderer. She currently spends her time writing and creating art. Check out her website and Instagram.


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